E-book consumers to be repaid for inflated prices

E-book consumers to be repaid for inflated prices

LITTLE ROCK (KAIT/AP) - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Tuesday that Arkansans who purchased electronic books during a certain two-year span will soon receive compensation.

The compensation comes from a $400 million settlement payout after Arkansas and 32 other states filed a lawsuit against Apple for conspiring to inflate e-book prices with five major publishers.

Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, settled the claims against the states for $166 million in March 2014.

According to a press release from the attorney general's office, eligible Arkansas consumers will receive $3.915 million.

The amounts paid to e-book purchasers will be based on the number of e-books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.

For each e-book that was a New York Times bestseller, a total of $6.93 will be returned to the user. For all others, the user will receive $1.57.

"Arkansans are entitled to an equitable and fair marketplace, but Apple violated that trust with this scheme," Rutledge said. "E-books have become popular in recent years, but when the costs are inflated to build the company's profit, attorneys general have a duty to protect consumers. Actions like this will not be tolerated, and companies like Apple will be held responsible for their corrupt actions."

Money distribution to consumers was expected to begin Tuesday.

Arkansans who purchased their e-books through Sony or Google will receive checks in the mail.

Those who purchased through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble or Kobo will automatically receive credits in their accounts.

The settlement administrator has set up a website and toll-free phone number for consumers with questions about this distribution.

Please visit ebooklawsuits.com or call (866) 686-9333 for more information.

Arkansans can also contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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